Alenka Zupancic's lecture on 'Love thy neighbour as theyself' from 6 November 2018
Reference to Christianity and to Christian tradition is one of the key ingredients of the expanding right-wing identity politics in Europe (and more largely, in the West), including its more or less explicit nationalism and racism. The commandment to love your Neighbour as yourself obviously presents this politics with a problem and necessitates a (re)interpretation of its meaning. This lecture looks into some examples of this interpretational work, and into how it affects the figure of the Neighbour. At the same time, it will interrogate reasons for which Freud has found this commandment to be at the very core of what he called "discontent" (Unbehagen) in our "civilisation" (Kultur). What is this aggressiveness that tends to emerge together with the figure of the Neighbour, as inseparable from it? To answer this question, the lecture takes recourse to the (Lacanian) psychoanalysis – not in order to steer away from the political dimension of the question, but on the contrary to help us work our way back to its political dimension.